Mammy Please Don't Leave Me - Chapter 6

Mammy, please don't leave me here.

Source

"Mammy, where are you taking us? Where are we going?", I am asking my mother as she walks brusquely without saying a word. I am trying hard to keep up with her and I am the eldest.

It is a bitterly cold winter’s night and the ground is muddy where we are walking. We got off a bus and we are walking through a very dark place. There are some boys standing near a barrel that has fire coming from it. They are standing around it warming themselves. We are in a place called Keogh Square. It used to be a British Army Barracks in Inchicore but now is a slum that houses all the poor people.

My mother asks the boys who are standing by the barrel of fire for directions. She is carrying my brother and my sisters like me are also trying to keep up with her. I am tired and I want this night journey to end. She keeps urging us to hurry up but won't say where she is taking us.

We arrive at a big gate and walk up a very long driveway. We go up steps and are shown into a room with a nun and two other women. I see a big bunch of of keys around the waist of one of the women. I don’t like this place and I am worried.


Source

Thrown to the Wolves

I watch my mother talking to these women and am also curious of my surroundings. Their voices are like the droning of an aeroplane in the distance and everything they are saying goes straight over my head. Suddenly my mother turns and walks very quickly out the door leaving us with these people. I run after my mother screaming for her. I am restrained. I am not allowed to leave the room. I cry and cry and cry. I can’t believe my mother has left me. I can’t believe it. I place my face in the lap of one of the women who is sitting in a chair and I cry so much that her skirt is sopping wet. I am taken away and accompanied to the dormitory. I am in shock. I am about 5 years old.

I see rows of children sleeping in metal beds. I am told to be quiet. I am given a torn night dress and my clothes are pulled off. I am told to put the night dress on. There is a long tear under the left arm but the material is a soft brush cotton and I find that texture comforting. I hear children coughing and whimpering around me. We are told to be quiet. I am alone in an orphanage in Dublin and I becomes very small curling up into hibernation.

My mammy left me here and she never said anything. No Mammy, no Daddy any more...just me and "I"!

Goldenbridge Orphanage

"I" has never forgotten that feeling and I wear it like an old coat to this day.

It was Ireland in the 1960's. The Catholic Church was at the height of its power and orphanages like the one my mother left us in were places people could put unwanted children. They were a source of income for the church which was providing a service for the Irish people. The Catholic Church has recently apologised for its treatment of that generation of Irish children after an official investigation in the 1990's but the damage done to so many children is a legacy of both the church and the Irish people who knew waht was going on but looked away.

Links to Connected Chapters

Comments 10 comments

ClaraN9 5 years ago

Thank you for using my picture in such a touching, personal story. I am honoured that you choice my picture to show how you felt.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Wow - this is so intense. The woman in the video has so much strength and character. I really felt for her. It is obvious that she was the victim of the Sisters of Mercy! Ha! They call themselves that.

Shame on anyone who looked away! Cowards - all of them. Down with institutions for kids!


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Thank you RealHousewife for continuing to follow the series and comment. I know Christine Buckley and remember her from our days in the same orphanage. she was a strong character even back then as a child and she has devoted her life to helping the survivors of such orphanages. Her children are very proud of her and her husband very supportive. A documentary was made about her by Irish Television R.T.E. called Dear daughter and that is a powerful programme.

The difference between and me is Christine is still full of anger but I am not.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Yes it shows. You can see it in her face. It is terrible. She also said sne will never forget it and she talks about how she could never tell anyone all that happened to her. So, I am supposing she will never be free of her tragedy.

Is it good though, that she channels her energy for a very good cause?


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Yes, you are spot on again. This is what we do when we are trapped the way she is our spirit finds a way for us to work through it. Our choice of partner, and our choice of work are examples of how we are directed into experiences to resolve our pain. However, many people spend their lives running away from the choices they make but in the end you never escape. You keep having the same experiences until you clear the blockage within.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I have heard this but you know it isn't always an easy thing to understand. I always say it's hard to be objective when you're standing in a pile of manure. You don't smell the crap when you are the one standing in it.

It does make a lot of sense!


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hypnosis enables you to suspend your critical analysing mind during psychotherapy so you can suspend your beliefs and decide whether or not you wish to keep them of change them.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

This is so painful to read that your mom left you and your siblings. Did you get to sleep near your siblings, especially that first night when you were in shock and despair? I sure hope so. My heart goes out to your painful experiences. I am giving you a big warm Hub Hug. I am so glad you have found your way through all of this.


Goyakla profile image

Goyakla 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Minnetonka Twin, thank you for your hugs. That one incident, of all the things that have happened in my life, was the most painful for me and was the the main cause for all the problems I was to later have. I think the hardest thing for any child to experience is to see mother walk away without any explanation or even a glance back. I feel that it is the same when a mother dies and leaves her children.

We were separated that night and I was told to be quite as I sobbed myself to sleep in that cold dormitory.

I have found a way through this and I suppose you can understand why I have spent my life doing what I do.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

My mother died when I was only nine and that has impacted me greatly. Not only did she leave us forever, but as you know, she died of symptoms from alcoholism and left us with dad, who at the time I did not like or trust. Mom was the one that tried to parent while dad was usually out at bars. I ended up being incredibly close with dad through the years which was meant to be. I learned a lot being brought up by a man most of my childhood. I am pretty clear how my mom and dad issues affect me today.

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